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Grand Prix 1933/1934


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#1 SamoanAttorney

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 16:11

I am seeking some assistance on a question from a fellow historian. Regrettably my knowledge of the '30s GP scene is somewhat lacking and I have not the time available at the moment to do the necessary research. Any guidance will be most gratefully received. Thank you in advance.

 

jb

 

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May I ask for your guidance on this matter: The European Driver's Championship (races included GP in France, Italy, Belgium and Germany as I understand it) was established in 1931 by AIACR. But, was "on hiatus" from 1933-34. My question: Why was it on hiatus when GPs were held in 1933 in France, Italy and Belgium (won my Maserati and Alfa Romeo) and held again in 1934 in France, Italy, Belgium and Germany (won by Alfa Romeo, Auto Union, Bugatti and Mercedes)? Can you suggest who I can turn to for an explanation?


Edited by SamoanAttorney, 12 October 2020 - 16:16.


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#2 D-Type

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 17:24

Have you time to visit Leif Snellman's "Golden Era" website? 

http://www.kolumbus....ellman/main.htm
If I recall correctly, he goes into the European Championship in depth.


Edited by D-Type, 12 October 2020 - 17:25.


#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 17:27

The 1931 and - especially - the 1932 European Championships are, to say the least, obscure and no official rules or results ever seem to have been published by the AIACR for the latter. So I think it's likely that it was just allowed to 'wither on the vine'. Since there was no mandated International Formula for either year - with Formule Libre in operation until the end of 1933 - I guess it's probable that it might have been quietly simply forgotten about.

 

The original World Championship, established in 1925, only lasted until 1927, although in fact the CSI dutifully announced one for every year until 1930, only to eventually announce its cancellation later in the season.

 

You can find a good analysis of the background here by Hans Etzrodt and Leif Snellman:

 

http://www.kolumbus....ellman/cha1.htm

 

The 1932 championship - in all its complexity and obscurity - is here:

 

http://www.kolumbus....ellman/cha2.htm

 

The revival of the European Championship was first proposed by the German CSI delegate Carl Otto Fritsch at the December 1934 meeting, with its organisation being assigned to the RAC of Italy. The decision to hold a 1935 EC was actually announced in Paris on May 8th 1935, more than a fortnight after the first race which counted for it had taken place!

 

I have looked through the published British sources for clues to this in the past - and I'm sure Hans, Leif and others have researched elsewhere - but the championship just seemed to quietly disappear.



#4 Vitesse2

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 18:05

Incidentally, in 1930, the idea of a revival of a Gordon Bennett Trophy-style international contest had been floated, with Italian sources attributing it to Count Florio and French sources to Augustin Pérouse of the ACF.

 

So I suppose it's theoretically possible that there were still hopes of that, but the increasing divergence between the International Formula and the AAA Formula would likely have put paid to it.

 

Florio had also previously promoted a so-called 'Championship of the Latin Countries' in the mid-1920s, taking in the GP de l'ACF, the San Sebastian GP and (naturally!) the Targa Florio.



#5 SamoanAttorney

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 18:31

You guys are utterly amazing......................an inspiration in this 'internet yogi' age.................

 

 

 

Merci beaucoup!

 

jb



#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 19:52

There is one other difference between the 1931 and 1932 seasons and those which followed, although whether it's merely coincidence I have no clue. Grandes Épreuves, which the qualifying races all were, were run to a time limit in both years - 10 hours in 1931 and 5 hours in 1932 - but from 1933 onwards they had to be a minimum of 500km (with Monaco excepted).



#7 Automobiliart

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 20:10

I know that because of the Great Depression, car companies were experiencing financial hardship, and major companies like Mercedes-Benz decided to temporarily "shut down" their racing operations in their cost-cutting.

That was also partly the case for Alfa Romeo, who handed off their racing operations to Enzo Ferrari.

Without the official support of these two big players, there was instability at the race events, with some being cancelled, and forcing racing organizers to regroup. 

There was also the fact that the cars, up to that point, were getting faster and more dangerous for the both drivers and spectators ... bad press ...

The AIACR's solution was to introduce the 750kg weight limit for 1934, thinking that the lower weight would force the constructors to build smaller cars with smaller engines ...

They were so wrong ...